By Brian Bigganehttp://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/sport ... -mi/nScxq/
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
MIAMI GARDENS —
Cam Wake had a message Sunday morning for rookie defensive end Olivier Vernon: This is your day.
Wake said he had been watching Vernon come “this close” to making a big play in the Dolphins’ first five games this season and felt he was due for a breakthrough.
“I told him, ‘Today’s the day, go out and seize the opportunity,’ ” said Wake, a veteran pass-rusher. “And we see what he did.”
What Vernon did was make the biggest play of the game, sacking St. Louis’ Sam Bradford for a 3-yard loss on third down that led coach Jeff Fisher to call for a nearly impossible 66-yard field-goal attempt. The kick sailed left in the final seconds, giving Miami a 17-14 victory.
Vernon had two sacks among his four tackles Sunday, and both were huge.
The first, on which he dropped Bradford for an 8-yard loss that left the Rams at the Miami 34, turned a relatively easy field goal into a 52-yarder that rookie Greg Zuerlein, who came into the game a perfect 13-for-13, missed to keep the Rams’ lead at 6-0.
The Dolphin defense didn’t have one of its better days. St. Louis outgained Miami 462-192 yards, averaging 6.7 per play, and amassed 162 yards rushing on what had been the league’s top-rated run defense.
“We were overrunning (the ball), stuff like that,” safety Chris Clemons said. “We’ll get that fixed.”
The difference between this game and the team’s two overtime losses last month, Clemons said, was Vernon.
“A couple games, we just needed somebody to step up and make a play,” Clemons said. “He stepped up and made a play.”